I’ve taught Vinyasa yoga for years. In fact, aside from a bit of dabbling in different hot yoga methods as a teenager, that’s all I’ve ever known. I’ve practiced Vinyasa since 2007, my personal practice relying on the same basic principles, adapting throughout different times in my life, including three pregnancies. But, it was during this last pregnancy that I felt called to something different. While sitting at my desk, scrolling through the new yoga classes available online, I came upon a Kundalini class lead by Guru Jagat. Intrigued by her dress and the totally foreign movements her students were doing, I clicked play and began to watch. What started as simple curiosity, however, soon manifested into a serious interest. No longer able to just sit and watch, I found myself, dressed in work clothes, pumping my arms furiously and chanting. At first, I felt silly. None of this, in my mind, was anything that could be remotely classified as “yoga.” But, upon finishing the sixty-minute class, I felt a rise of energy I hadn’t felt in a long time, a surge so strong that I instantly bookmarked the class.
For the next two weeks, I returned to this class day after day, wondering if the effects would wear off – maybe what I felt at first was something akin to “beginner’s luck.” But, each time I practiced, the effects only seemed more pronounced, more profound.
I found myself asking again and again, what is this and how have I not known about these practices before?
Although my Vinyasa practice continues to be steady, for the past year, I have changed up my morning routine to include several new Kundalini morning rituals. These rituals don’t just make me feel great, but I am not exaggerating when I say that they have really changed my life. The bouts of depression and anxiety I used to experience, especially postpartum, have disappeared. Not only do I feel brighter and more radiant, but my mind is clearer. I’m more even-tempered. I see more. And I’m experiencing more success than ever.
Here are the five most powerful Kundalini morning rituals I do regularly, daily if possible. Although you’ll feel results immediately, it takes thirty to forty days of consistent practice to really start changing your life. And, believe me, it will change your life.
- Cold Showers: Although it was one of the hardest rituals to get used to, cold showers are now part of my daily routine. I start with dry brushing and then coat my body in coconut oil. Then I get under the cold water, allowing it to hit my face and chest. I’ve found that you can massage your body, from the soles of your feet to your shoulders and neck, to help keep you warm (and to give you something to do). Even just thirty seconds under the cold water will change everything. And, according to Guru Jagat, cold showers are one of the best practices for glandular health, anti-aging, increased energy, and mental alertness. They will also improve the condition of your skin – you really do “glow” afterward!
- Subagh Kriya: This powerful sequence takes about twenty minutes from start to finish. It is said to be an incredibly effective way to bring more abundance and prosperity to your life. The whole sequence is done seated and involves various hand movements and chanting. You can find videos of this sequence to follow along with online at first, but after a few times doing it, you’ll learn how to do it yourself. The impact this has had on my professional life is astounding. I never start my day without doing this practice.
- Breath of Fire: This is one of the most powerful practices I do. Designed to reset your glands and hormones, this pranayama technique brings your entire body back into balance. Although it is sometimes taught with only an emphasis on the exhale, in Kundalini, the emphasis is equal on both the inhalation and exhalation. It is a powerful, rapid breath through the nose, but it is sustainable. Most Kundalini teachers recommend you practice breath of fire for at least seven minutes to reap the most benefits.
- Sat Kriya: One of the most essential practices in the Kundalini technology system, Sat Kriya is a simple breath meditation that helps to energize your body and increase your radiance. To practice it, sit on your heels, bringing your arms overhead. Interlace your fingers and release the index finger, squeezing the palms together. As you pull your navel in powerfully, you mentally chant “Sat.” As you exhale and release the belly, you repeat, “Nam.” Just three minutes of this kriya can elevate your awareness and energy. I do this practice in the morning, but also throughout the day when I feel like I need a boost. If I need more after the first three minutes, I’ll keep adding more three-minute rounds until I feel ready to take on whatever is next in my day.
- Frog Pose: This simple exercise is a lot harder than it looks, which is why I love to do it in the morning – it makes me sweat! To begin, you start in a squat position with the knees wide and the heels up. As you exhale, you come to stand, looking towards your thighs. As you inhale, you look forward and return to the frog squat. You can go as fast or as slow as you like. I’ll do at least 26 of these each morning, although many times I’ll go for three or more minutes. Although your legs might shake, keep going! The energy that will flood your body when you’re done is amazing. And I’ve found it’s a great way to shift my mood quickly, too.
While much of Kundalini yoga will feel strange at first, especially if you are used to different styles of yoga, I’ve learned to love it. Not only are the results of Kundalini morning rituals astounding, but almost everything is accessible, which means I don’t have to “feel” like doing yoga to do it. And, because the practices are fast, there’s no excuse to add them to your morning routine!